Archive for March, 2010

The “Will Allen” lettuce gets harvested!

In February we saw Will Allen speak and were inspired by his vision and inventiveness. We planted many pots of lettuce seed and now it’s time for salad! How often do we get to see kids excited about veggies! Viva Orca!

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First plantings of spring!

It was a busy morning, as we got busy planting carrots, peas, and beans in the garden. Two of the 1/2 classes got a chance to be the first planters of spring. We should have peapods, wax beans, and carrots in no time. Goodbye metal fence, hello living, edible, structure!

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A visit to Seattle Girl’s School

Anthony had the pleasure of visiting the Seattle Girls School to talk about sustainability, composting, and the best plan of action for building organic garden beds. They have chickens and goats already, so they are well on their way to doing some cool things. Orca has offered some plant donations to them, to help get this project rolling! The students are working on a school design project and wanted some ideas on how to design the ultimate green school.

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First day of spring workparty

Ah glorious spring, that time of year when we shake off the doldrums of the NW winter and enter sunny days with a newfound optimism and enthusiasm. The first day of spring turned out to be the nicest and sunniest day of the year. It was in the 60’s and very warm and delightful outside. We gathered for our monthly Saturday workparty, to shovel 5 cubic yards of Cedar Grove compost and do some garden maintenance. We rejuvenated the garden beds and things are smelling very ripe (no kids- thats not manure!).

The incredible non-profit City Fruit organization had a community workshop on cultivating and pruning fruit trees at Orca. We are happy to host community groups here and be a resource in any way that we can. Then check out their incredible tree map of fruit trees in seattle. Amazing!

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Sunny p-patch visit

A trip to the Hillman City p-patch was in order today. Orca is getting our plot together over there- it’s almost time to plant! Check it:

We pulled some mint and fennel plants that were growing in the paths. We can plant those back here at the Orca garden and give kids more of what they want- tasty treats and delicious garden snacks. They got to explore the p-patch and soak up some of that very very necessary Vitamin D. Oh yeah, did I mention the tire swing!?!?

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Strawberries + Sunshine = Joy

The garden is alive, magic is afoot, and the sunshine has finally, finally arrived. Spring is all about making new beginnings and new connections. With the revival of the garden, hopefully we all feel a revival within ourselves. Say that!

Strawberries were brought in by a student in Mr. McCullough’s kindergarten class. This student said the strawberries were taking over their yard, so we were more than happy to take a donation over here. Strawberries are a guaranteed winner with the kiddoes. It was a stunning day and an incredible way to start a sunny morning.

They also got to explore the garden for a bit after the planting. Finding, feeling, smelling, and tasting the first herbs of Spring. The mints were especially a hit today.

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Pre- K planting in action

From seeds, to baby chards, to transplant pots, to the ground! The cycle reached one step closer today as the Pre-k students planted chards they helped grow from the BEGINNING. Next step- eating the bountiful harvest that will soon come! Awesome.

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Orca comes together to get the garden going. Spring!

This has been a busy week so far, as we take the mulch off the garden, fill the compost bins with leaves, plant more native plants, and plant THOUSANDS OF SEEDS! The greenhouse is filling up with tray after tray, rack after rack, of organic seeds ready to sprout. We will have more than enough plants to plant Orca again and again AND give as much away as possible. Seriuosly, we are looking to be a resource for the community- free, organic starter plants to those that are working to educate or feed residents of South Seattle. The students are learning what it means to really give back to the community. Social justice in action.

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Over ONE TON of lunchroom scraps COMPOSTED!

Seriously- over 1500 pounds to Cedar Grove and 500 pounds to our on-site wormbins since September 2009. Sustainability in action! Thank you to all the lunchroom student helpers who help students divide their lunchroom waste. Special thanks to VISTA Beth Graves for her assistance during lunches too. And we can’t forget Seattle Public Utilities for making this happen with an amazing waste reduction grant.

Here’s how to setup a composting program at your school!…/CommercialCompostGuidelines.pdf

Check out what Cedar Grove does with our waste:

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Pre-K sunflower seed art

We used our Fall harvested sunflower heads to munch on and create cool art. We chewed some seeds up and had some fun with a bit of glue and some paper. Garden art!

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